This year’s light switch-on show will have something for everyone – packed with stars, amazing performances and a suitably grand finale.
Comedy favourite and true Mancunian Jason Manford will be joined by rising stars Collabro to push the button after a show renowned for being the biggest Christmas party in the North West.
Manchester’s festive celebrations will officially begin on Friday, 7 November with an evening of high-energy entertainment in partnership with Key 103.
Albert Square – with Manchester Town Hall as the iconic backdrop – will play host to the switch-on party that will open six weeks of celebrations and attractions that have made sure Manchester is well-known as the Christmas capital of the UK!
Completely at home on stage as one of Manchester’s best-known and enduringly popular comedians, Jason Manford will have the honour of turning on Manchester’s Christmas Lights – surely one on his most important public appearances to date! Jason will also be supporting the Charity Carol Concert for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT) at the Bridgewater Hall in December.
After weeks of intense rivalry, crowd favourites Collabro were voted winners of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent competition and were instantly signed to Simon Cowell’s record label. Their debut album, Stars, stormed to number one in August with their own brand of operatic pop covers of hit stage songs. The band is already looking forward to an extensive tour early in the New Year.
Alongside the headline acts, the city’s festive theatre productions will bring a slice of Broadway to the occasion.
Stars of the sensational hit production of Shrek the Musical will appear on stage before the swamp dwelling ogre treads the boards at the Palace Theatre from 2 December. The smash show has already played to more than one million people during a run in the West End.
Hollywood superstar Warwick Davis will also appear ahead of his fantastical appearance in the Opera House’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs starting on 5 December – starring alongside none other than the legendary Priscilla Presley.
X-Factor star, singer Shayne Ward will bring his much-loved crooner sound to woo the crowd, sharing the stage with stars of the future, The Piccadillys. The brand new girl group were the winners of a talent competition by Key 103 to find the next chart toppers – and Shayne was part of the judging panel.
CBBC favourites Hacker and Dodge will appear on stage with presenter Katie Thistleton. Notoriously unpredictable, these all round cheeky-canine-chappies are ones not to be missed and never fail to bring a raucously memorable show!
Getting the blood pumping will be the mesmerising winners of The Printworks Street Dance competitions, Superkidz from Stretford, who will wow the crowds with their incredible choreography.
Of course the switch-on wouldn’t be complete without a dramatic finale – a 10 minute firework extravaganza.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “No one does Christmas like Manchester and our lights switch-on party is the envy of the UK. For generations of Mancunians it is the official start of the countdown to Christmas – but this is only the start of more than six weeks of festive celebrations across the city.”
Key 103’s favourite breakfast show presenters Mike & Chelsea are also delighted to be back hosting the Christmas spectacular!
Manchester’s Christmas Lights switch-on will take place on Friday 7 November from 7.30pm.
Please note, once Albert Square reaches capacity access into the area will be restricted. A number of road closures will be in place on the evening – full details to be released.
Follow the action at: #MCRChristmas